Writer’s Group May 13, 2023

How to stay motivated, how to plan and craft a book

What I do

I have a writing routine, so that no matter what time I write, my brain can jump right into it.

This starts with me stating my writing affirmations, which I use these YouTube Videos for. (I usually walk on the treadmill and speak them. Takes about 10-15 min, and I get some extra steps in. BONUS! 😂)

If I’m having a down day, and find it hard to write, I do about 5 minutes of “object writing” which is a practice explained in “Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison”, which I highly recommend checking out. The process is mentioned in chapter one, and you can read about it in the book’s sample.

“Object Writing” is how I break down my writer’s block whenever it might strike. It works like magic.

After that, I start typing. Usually takes me 2-4 hours to get 1000-2000 words out. And I’ll take walk breaks and food breaks and … mental breaks 🤣 during that time.

One thing I like to do is try to stay in the world as much as possible, to help the story flow, so i have a musical playlist on my phone that I’ll listen to that’s just for the book I write. I always have a new one for every book.

A few of my best tips:

Schedule writing, and have a word count goal.

Map out your book goals as a guideline to keep you on track:

  • how many total words (ie 70k)
  • how many word will you write a day (ie 1000-2000)
  • how many chapters per act (ie. 7 in Act 1, 10 Act 2A, 10 Act 2B, 7 Act 3)

I use sticky notes to track my writing progress:

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My Top Writing Development Recommendations:

Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

If you’re asking, what does ‘save the cat’ mean? It’s a saying in the writing community first created by Blake Snyder (a screen writer). In short, let’s say you have a nasty main character who nobody would like. It’s important to make him likeable to your reader or they won’t root for him and therefore, will give up on your story. So, have this unlikable character save a cat from a tree. Instant likeability.

That is pretty much what ‘save the cat’ means, but it does not in reach the depth of how awesome this book is. Jessica Brody is a multi-time New York Times best seller. And in this book, she teaches pansters (those who write without a plan) and plotters (those who write with a plan) how to write a novel that will steal their readers hearts every time.

If you read nothing else on this list of mine, author friend, read this book. It will make writing 100x easier!

The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass

The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass

This book will take what Jessica Brody teaches you in “Save the Cat Writes a Novel” and add that final layer. The Emotional Craft of Fiction will help you make your reader cry when you want them to cry, laugh when you want them to laugh, and fall for your character without fail.

For every book I write, I reference Jessica Brody’s book above and then listen to this one with my audible account. By incorporating both books, I know my stories are deep and emotional in all the right places!

3 Story Genius by Lisa Cron

Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere) by [Lisa Cron]

How to find the “heart” of your story, an make sure it beats throughout the book. This keeps your story engaging.

4. 7 Figure Fiction by T Taylor.

7 FIGURE FICTION: How to Use Universal Fantasy to SELL Your Books to ANYONE (Universal Fantasy™: Butter Up Your Writing Book 1) by [T Taylor]

How to put the “butter” into your story, the emotion that readers really care about.

5. Romancing the Beats by Gwen Hayes

I love this book because, as I’m not always writing a romance-focused story, Gwen helps you see how to make your side romances work, too. I don’t know why, but as I’ve delved deeper into writing, this one part has been my struggle. So if you know your romances aren’t as good as they could be (or your betas are telling you so) check out this book!


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